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    Breast Augmentation

    Breast Augmentation, Beverly Hills Plastic SurgeryAlso known as augmentation mammoplasty, breast augmentation involves using implants to create fuller breasts or to restore breasts that may have lost volume due to weight loss or from pregnancy. If you are unhappy with the size or shape of your breasts, augmentation surgery is a choice to consider. Breast augmentation can increase the fullness and projection of your breasts, improve the balance and proportions of your figure and improve your self-image and self-confidence.

    Breast augmentation alone does not correct severely drooping breasts. If you want your breasts to look fuller and to be lifted due to sagging, a breast lift may be required in combination with breast augmentation. Breast lifting can often be done at the same time as your augmentation.

    Good Candidates for Breast Augmentation

    Breast augmentation is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.

    Breast augmentation may be a good option for you if:

    • You are physically healthy
    • You have realistic expectations
    • Your breasts are fully developed
    • You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small
    • You are dissatisfied with your breasts losing shape and volume after pregnancy, weight loss, or with aging
    • Your breasts vary in size or shape
    • One or both breasts failed to develop normal

    Your Consultation

    During your consultation we will discuss your goals and expectations for the procedure and what your desired outcome would be. We will discuss many topics such as desired size, shape, implant type and incision site. You may also be asked about medical conditions, drug allergies, current medication use, previous surgeries, family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies. Dr. Kim will discuss what procedure will most likely get your desired result and will show photos representing these procedures.

    Preparing for surgery

    Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:

    • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
    • Get a baseline mammogram before surgery
    • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
    • Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
    • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

    Special instructions you receive will cover:

    • What to do on the day of surgery
    • Post-operative care and follow-up
    • Breast implant registry documents (when necessary)

    We will also discuss where your procedure will be performed. Breast augmentation surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical center, outpatient ambulatory surgical center or a hospital.

    You will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

    Procedural Steps

    Incision Options

    Incisions are made in inconspicuous areas to minimize visible scarring. Dr. Kim will discuss which incision options are appropriate for your desired outcome. Incision options include:

    • Periareolar Incision
    • Inframammary Incision
    • Transaxillary incision
    • Umbilical Incision

    All incisions can be used successfully. Which incision is best for you will depend on your particular anatomy combined with your preference in location as well as the comfort level of your surgeon for each particular procedure. Dr. Kim has performed hundreds of procedures using all the different incisions so it will come down to your desires and what will be best for you based on your anatomy.

    Implant Choice

    Breast size and shape are important, so be honest and open about your expectations when talking with your surgeon.

    Implant type and size will be determined not just on your desired increase in size but more importantly on your breast anatomy, skin elasticity and body type.

    Types of Breast Implants

    Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. They can be filled with varying amounts of saline which can affect the shape, firmness and feel of the breast. Should the implant shell leak, a saline implant will collapse and the saline will be absorbed and naturally expelled by the body.

    Silicone implants are filled with an elastic gel. The gel feels and moves much like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell, or may escape into the breast implant pocket.

    A leaking implant filled with silicone gel may not collapse. If you choose these implants, you may need to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to make sure the implants are functioning properly. An ultrasound or MRI screening can assess the condition of breast implants.

    The implants also come in a variety of shapes including high profile, moderate plus profile or moderate profile. ( Also known as high, mid , and low profile depending on which implant company you use ) For a more natural appearance moderate implants are good and for a more round or fuller look up top a high profile implant can be used. Rib cage diameter will also factor in on implant shape choice depending on how large you decide to go.

    Currently Saline implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 18 years of age and older.
    Currently Silicone implants are FDA-approved for augmentation in women 22 years of age and older.
    Saline or silicone implants may be recommended at a younger age if used for reconstruction purposes.

    Implant Location

    After the incision is made, a breast implant is inserted into a pocket either:

    • Under the pectoral muscle (a submuscular placement), or
    • Directly behind the breast tissue, over the pectoral muscle (a submammary/ subglandular placement)

    The method for inserting and positioning implants depends on the type of implant, degree of enlargement desired, your body type, and your personal preferences as well as Dr. Kim’s recommendations.

    The results of breast augmentation are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover and realize the fulfillment of your goal for fuller breasts.

    Risks of Breast Augmentation

    The decision to have breast augmentation is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.

    Dr. Kim and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.

    The risks include but are not limited to:

    • Unfavorable scarring
    • Bleeding (hematoma)
    • Infection
    • Poor healing of incisions
    • Changes in nipple or breast sensation, may be temporary or permanent
    • Capsular contracture, which is the formation of firm scar tissue around the implant
    • Implant leakage or rupture
    • Wrinkling of the skin over the implant
    • Anesthesia risks
    • Fluid accumulation
    • Blood clots
    • Pain, which may persist
    • Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
    • Possibility of asymmetry of the breasts
    • Possibility of revisional surgery

    Breast implants do not impair breast health. Careful review of scientific research conducted by independent groups such as the Institute of Medicine has found no proven link between breast implants and autoimmune or other systemic diseases.

    Other important considerations:

    • Breast implants are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and future surgery may be required to replace one or both implants.
    • Pregnancy, weight loss and menopause may influence the appearance of augmented breasts over the course of your lifetime.


    After a post-surgical recovery period of 24 to 48 hours and an additional reduced-activity period of a few days, you will likely experience soreness and swelling for a few weeks.

    Exercise and normal activity can resume at the direction of your plastic surgeon. Over time, post-surgical swelling will decrease and incision lines will fade. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for your breasts afterwards, including massaging techniques, medications to take, what type of bra to wear and follow up appointments.

    When you go home

    If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.
    The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

    Be careful

    Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.